Callery pear trees begin to bloom; registration opens Friday for ‘buyback’ event in Hannibal

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The profuse white blossoms of this highly invasive tree make their alarming spread especially apparent this time of year, along roadsides, in fields, parks and on private property. | Photo courtesy of Better Homes and Gardens

HANNIBAL, Mo. — The Missouri Invasive Plant Council, in partnership with Forest ReLeaf of Missouri, Forrest Keeling Nursery and the Missouri Department of Conservation, will host a Callery pear “buyback” program around the state on April 23. People who complete the event registration will receive a free native tree when they show a photo of a cut-down Callery pear tree from their property.

In a press release, Carol Davit, chair of the Missouri Invasive Plant Council, said, “As we prepare for spring, many Callery pear trees — also known as Bradford pears — are already beginning to bloom. The profuse white blossoms of this highly invasive tree make their alarming spread especially apparent this time of year, along roadsides, in fields, parks and on private property.”

Registration for the Callery pear buyback event is open from Friday, March 15 through April 15. On the registration form, participants will choose their event location, select a native tree and upload a photo of the cut-down Callery pear tree. One free, non-invasive, native tree will be given to registered participants at the selected location on the day of the event, April 23, from 3 to 6 p.m.

Participants will receive potted native trees, donated by Forest ReLeaf and Forrest Keeling Nursery, in 3-gallon containers that stand between 2- and 4-feet tall. The trees are young and small to ensure the least amount of stress on the tree in the planting process, as well as easier transportation.

To register, or for more information about this event, including a full list of native tree species offered and how to identify Callery pear trees, visit https://moinvasives.org/2024/01/12/callery-pear-buyback-2024/, or contact MoIP coordinator Emily Render by calling 573-569-8659 or by emailing info@moinvasives.org. The registration form at the link above will be live beginning March 15.

For more information about the pick-up area for the Hannibal area, contact Kristy Trevathan by email at kristy.trevathan@prestigerealty.net or by calling 573-248-6581.

Program partners are:

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